“I need you all to pay attention closely and listen to what we’re learning each day, students. You will be our future. You will be doctors and lawyers and politicians. One of you may even be president. You will run this country for us one day. You need to pay attention.”
I sat there in my seat in late elementary school, early middle school and heard words that I had heard before and would hear again. With my mind not quite believing what the adults were saying. We’re all just average, my mind said, we will all be sales peoples and the coffee shops and bookstores. I always doubted them. Doubting has been the theme of my life since I was little. I’ve always been a wrestler.
I never truly believed I would be anything great because I never thought I was anything great. Honestly, I didn’t think that anyone from Louisiana could be great because we were all average. People from Boston, Chicago, New York City, and San Fran could be great, but not someone from Lafayette, Louisiana.
From the earliest memories of school, I don’t remember much of the content I learned, but I do remember feeling average. I would see the girls who were on the accelerated reading classes, the boys who were good at math and kids who could actually play at recess instead of being sentenced to redo their math homework in the classroom.
Average. It was a feeling that seeped into my intellect and my beliefs about myself.
Sometimes I wonder if that has also seeped into my beliefs about God. The Almighty One. The Creator. YHWH. I wonder. I wonder, because so many times I sit in church and the speaker or Preacher talks about God changing hearts and changing lives and having a special plan for each of our lives. They explain how we’re going to do something great for Christ if we obey Him and follow Him. Sometimes they even have missionaries that talk about their missions or young people who have set up non-profits or who now work in full time ministry there to motivate us to believe that the Lord is who He says He is and He does big things to glorify Himself.
And I doubt! I sit there and DOUBT! I sit there, arm in arm with the infamous Doubting Thomas and demand to see the changes. Demand to see ordinary people like me be used by God to be something, do something, change something. I look through the Bible and demand examples. And I see them. Everywhere. Jacob, Moses, Rahab, Joshua, Deborah, Gideon, David… The list goes on. Ordinary men too scared to follow a Living God and still being used by Him for extraordinary things. World changing. Life altering. Sin-shattering things. Within my heart of hearts I feel like the desperate father in Mark 9:24 who shouts to Jesus who offered to heal his child if he believed, “I believe; help my unbelief!”
Indeed, Help my Unbelief.
So now, many adults my age complain that when they were young they were told they were awesome and great and could do anything. They were the Little Engine That Could! However, now they are adults and are disappointed and disillusioned at how little impact they’re making in life.
I don’t connect with their statements. When I was young I was told how I would do something great and that the Lord had a special plan for me, and as much as I wanted to believe what they said, I didn’t. I didn’t think I was special. I knew I couldn’t do anything I wanted, because I couldn’t memorize those stupid scientific facts and math formulas. I knew I couldn’t make it in politics because I could barely understand what on earth we needed a 7th grade president for.
But now that I’m older I look around and I see how the people in my generation are changing the world. They’re making an impact it and they don’t even know it.
They’re becoming doctors and lawyers. They’re becoming teachers that impact the next generation and impart knowledge. They’re becoming adopters and foster parents. They’re getting married and moving across the globe to share Christ or teach English. They’re making an impact, on the entire world.
And I’m so proud of them.
Now I realize, I am too. I can make an impact and change some things. I can touch people’s lives. I can make a ripple effect. It may not be huge and it may not even be about me. People will never remember my name when I’m long gone and that doesn’t bother me because I hope with my whole heart that they’ll know His instead. I may not be a doctor, lawyer, politician, teacher, nurse, world traveler, but I’m human and a daughter of a King.
 Being a salesperson at a bookstore was my dream job when I was in high school. It’s what I wanted to do with my life for a while. Don’t make fun.